Sarah McCartney set up her first craft business aged seven, making bracelets for her friends. She was brought up in a household of musicians and makers in the north east of England and played baritone saxophone semi-professionally while still at school, going on to study maths and anthropology, then marketing and corporate strategy.
Following 20 years in copywriting, she wrote a novel about a problem-solving perfumer and in it described fragrances which reminded her characters of happy times in their lives. Unable to find anything similar to her ideal perfumes in shops, she decided to make them herself, discovering on the way that it is a world of secrets and myths.
She found that she had an aptitude for perfume-making, partly because she hears the sounds of different aromas, and her musical training helps her to arrange the notes into harmonious chords. Her reputation reached specialist Hollywood fragrance store The Scent Bar, so while continuing to practise her perfumery skills she qualified to ship dangerous goods, enabling 4160Tuesdays’ particularly quirky British fragrances to reach an appreciative audience in the US. Her innovative perfumes are now sold in South Korea, Canada, Tasmania and Wales.
In 2019 she set up an online subscription class, The Scenthusiasm Slow Scent School on Patreon, so that students worldwide can learn perfume making affordably. She runs regular live workshops in her Hammersmith studio.
She makes fragrances for other niche brands, including Aura of Kazakhstan, the first Kazakh perfumery, and Black Cliff of Barbados, and for companies including Google, Tinder and Samsung. She recently created the aroma of Manet’s Bar at the Folies Bergere for the Courtauld, working with a group of young people and artist Jeremy Deller.
2019 Finalist Art and Olfaction awards 2019 – Atlante – Sarah Baker Perfumes
2019 EREK Circular Economy Award – Sustainability Champion
2020 Finalist Pure Beauty Awards – Meet Me On The Corner
2020 – Çafleurebon Best of Scent – The Darkest Bloom
2021 – Blue Patch Sustainable Business Awards – Female Business Leader
2022 – Finalist in the Fragrantica Best British Niche Fragrance with Saltburn Driftwood
2022 – Çafleurebon Most Valuable Perfumer